The number of oil spills has decreased substantially over the last 40 years but still has enduring environmental impacts. Oil spills severely harm sea animal and plants and ruin land surrounding oceans. A new polyurethane-based solution could help make cleaning up simpler and cheaper.

The innovative solution comes from an Italian-based company in Brescia, FoamFlex200. The Company created a new special polyurethane-based sponge that can absorb as much oil as 30 times its own weight.

Another feature of the sponge is its reusability. The sponge can be squeezed and re-used over 200 times, guaranteeing a radical reduction in the amount of waste generated.  FoamFlex200 proved to recover up to 50%-70% of spilt hydrocarbon, in contrast to today’s practices that only absorb 20% at a higher cost. Besides, the sponge is safer for the environment and humans.

The solution has been patented and certified by the Italian Ministry of the Environment and it is supplied to Fire Brigades around Italy. The sponge will also be used outside Italy. It is now being distributed in other countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Canada.

Read more in La Stampa.